Women's safety on Bristol streets a concern, says mayor candidate
More needs to be done to protect women against violent crime on Bristol’s streets, Green Party mayoral candidate Daniella Radice has said.
Speaking less than a fortnight ahead of the mayoral election, Ms Radice raised concerns about the safety of women in the city.
The Green candidate yesterday visited Stapleton Road, once reported to be the most dangerous road in Britain, to speak to local residents about crime rates and street safety for women.
"Over 190 incidences of violent crime happen per month in Bristol city centre, including rape and grievous bodily harm. This is not acceptable," Ms Radice said.
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"We need to do more to protect women and girls against violent crime, such as ensuring regular, affordable night buses, well-lit bus shelters, clear information about waiting times, and not be afraid to use our licensing powers to shut down entertainment venues that put women at risk."
According to crime-mapping website Police.uk, launched by the Home Office, 189 incidents of violent crime were reported in the city of Bristol in September – the most recent set of figures.
This compares to 194 incidents in August, 198 in July and 168 in June.
Violent crime rates are down compared to last year, however. The Police.uk website shows in the quarter ending June 30, 2012, violent crime rates were down in Bristol and down in the Avon & Somerset force area compared with the corresponding quarter in 2011.
Ms Radice was joined by Jenny Jones, the Green Party candidate who came third in the recent London mayoral race, ahead of the Liberal Democrat candidate.
Ms Jones, Green London Assembly member and former Deputy Mayor of London, praised Ms Radice. “The Green Party have always stood up for what is right, not just for the environment, but also for vulnerable people in our society. I'd encourage Bristol to vote Green this November if they want a fairer city."
So how can women stay safe on the streets of Bristol?
- Stick to bright, well-lit and busy areas
- Stay with friends whenever possible and don't walk home alone
- Never take short cuts at night
- Try to look and act confidently – look like you know where you are going and walk tall. This should reduce your vulnerability
- Trust your instincts: If you get a bad feeling about someone or an area you’re in, move away
- Walk facing the traffic to avoid being approached from behind
- Consider carrying a personal alarm
- Get your cash out of the cashpoint during daylight hours if you are going out in the evening
- Don’t listen to a personal stereo when out walking or jogging – you need to stay alert to your surroundings
- If you are alone, set your mobile phone to vibrate as not to draw attention to yourself
- Don't walk and text, as you're likely to be distracted
- If you are approached and feel threatened and cannot immediately move away, be vocal and try to alert and involve others around you. Say “Don’t touch me”, “No”, “Stop”, “Go away”. Shout “fire!” rather than “help!” – it can get more results.
If using simple verbal commands doesn’t work you have the option of using as much force as you can to get away, so long as it’s reasonable to the threat. You can use everyday items like keys or umbrellas if you need to, but don’t carry items specifically for self-defence
- If someone tries to take something from you, it may just be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury
- If you think you are being followed, cross over the road. If you are followed, cross back again.
If you are still concerned, go to the nearest public place, a shop, pub or house with lights on and call the police on 999. Don't use enclosed pay-phones, in which you could become trapped
- In cabs, sit directly behind the driver and steer conversation away from personal details